Outstretched Arms

“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children.”   Ephesians 5:1

Moments ago a sleepy five year old little girl stumbled into the kitchen and immediately stretched out her arms to me. She didn’t say anything, just wanted to be picked up and held. She wrapped her skinny little arms and legs around me and laid her head on my shoulder. A few minutes passed by and she began to ask questions about the day. She told me what she wanted and we talked about it. Her requests are not that big, but I am glad she asks. Today it was for sidewalk chalk to add to our driveway masterpieces. She has a love for art and I want to fan this into flame by encouraging her to create.

IMG_1881You know, one of my most favorite things to do is pick her up and I know those days are quickly flying by. Our other kids have gotten too big to be picked up and some tower over me. However, their need to be picked up emotionally, held physically or helped spiritually never seems to go away. I do not think it ever does even as an adult. With this parenting gift we have the opportunity to model daily our love for them and our love for our Heavenly Father. It is His love for us and in us that should overflow to them.

This glimpse into our home reminded me of my times in the morning. With coffee in hand, I carefully fall into my favorite chair and what feels like my Heavenly Father’s arms. I wrap my arms around His word and lay my head on His truth. I tell him my needs, fears, joys and tell Him of the many things I find praiseworthy. He listens and responds by directing me to specific scriptures. When I need discipline, He lovingly guides my heart by not allowing me to be at peace and I feel restless until I come to Him. I confess and turn from my sin because in turning I turn back into His arms. Sin keeps me away from Him. Sin keeps me angry, fearful, bitter, unforgiving and judgmental. All are smoke to distract from the real heart issue. One breath of His Holy Spirit and the distraction clears. Truth is made clear, I repent and we move on, relationship restored. I am already forgiven, but in need of more grace and mercy.

I do not know what you are reaching for today, but may I encourage you to reach for Him. He has not left you. You were created in His image and belong. I know I talk of this often, but I just do not think it can ever be said too much. We all need the reminder. So, I pray you walk through this day, wrapped tight in dependence and your heart at rest in His love. It is your choice to whom your hand holds.

*Picture from 2013

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